Katja Röper

From transcriptional profiles to sculpting a tissue, linking nuclear events to morphogenetic effectors
Group Leader page

Epithelial tissues are one of the major tissue types in all animals and form the basic building blocks of many organs in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Understanding the basic cell biological mechanisms of epithelial tissue formation is crucial to an understanding of the causes of malformation and disease of epithelia, with 80% of cancers originating from epithelial tissues.

We use a simple epithelial model in Drosophila to understand how organs are skulpted. This project will aim to elucidate how the transcriptional regulation that leads to the specification of cells destined to form our model tissue actually controls the presence and activity of so called ‘morphogenetic effectors’, the proteins that do the actual job of changing cell shape and function. We want to identify, using techniques such as tissue specific RNA-seq and ribosome profiling, what is switched on by the transcription factors that lead to specification, and in what order. This will allow to dissect the function of new candidates within the framework of the formation of a tissue that is studied in great depth wihin the lab, and for which we have numerous genetic, cell biological and biophyisical tools and assays.


Sidor, C. and Röper, K. (2016)
Genetic control of salivary gland tubulogenesis in Drosophila.
In Organogenetic Gene Networks’ pp 125-149, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-42767-6_5, ISBN 978-3-319-42765-2 (invited review)

Röper, K. (2015)
Integration of cell-cell adhesion and contractile actomyosin activity during morphogenesis.
Curr. Top. Dev. Biol. 112:103-27 (Review)

Girdler, G., and Röper, K. (2014)
Controlling cell shape changes during salivary gland tube formation in Drosophila.
Sem.Cell Dev.Biol., 1–8. (Review)

Booth, A.J.R., Blanchard, G.B., Adams, R.J. and Röper, K. (2014)
A dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton directs medial actomyosin function during tube formation.
Dev. Cell, 29(5), 562–576

Röper K. (2012)
Anisotropy of Crumbs and aPKC drives myosin cable assembly during tube formation.
Dev. Cell 23:939-953.